Lexington, VA – April 21, 2017 – The Hilltop rings project, a loving effort to memorialize former president of the Virginia Horse Shows Association Sandy Gerald, has been completed to debut during the Lexington Spring Series. The Virginia Horse Center has refitted Arena B and the adjacent schooling Arena A with new Kruse Cushion Ride (KCR) footing to improve the showing experience for both horse and rider.
Respected horseman and course designer Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, IN was brought in to complete the upgrades which included resurfacing the 160’ x 230’ arena and 96’ x 250’ schooling arena with U.S. manufactured KCR footing, re-grading, and reshaping the base for drainage. Located next to the Hill Top Campground and Community Park Pavilion, both rings were previously composed of a bluestone base and natural sand.
Rheinheimer is regarded as a U.S. based FEI footing expert. “We even have KCR in my wife, Cathy’s, outdoor and indoor arenas and, believe me, if it wasn’t a great product, I would definitely hear the negatives,” he expressed. “Kruse Cushion Ride doesn’t need to be mixed with finer sands that make footing pack, and it is really the perfect blend for the more seasoned, older horses.”
In approximately two weeks the project was completed and the formal dedication of arena “B”, renamed the Sandy Gerald ring, will happen in August during the Lexington National Horse Show.
The benefits of the renovations are numerous and competitors can look forward to exhibiting on quality footing suited for high performance athletes. Composed from 100% recycled product, shredded Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) fiber mixed with proper sand, KCR footing is all weather and requires limited water application because it retains moisture so maintenance is significantly reduced.
Sandy Gerald, who passed in 2016, had a special place in the Virginia Horse Center family. He was the longtime coach of the Hollins University equestrian team and became a part of the Virginia Horse Shows Association Hall of Fame in 2015. Ernie Oare, president of the Foundation, is pleased that his friend’s contributions to the horse center could be memorialized in this way for years to come.
To learn more about the Virginia Horse Center please visit www.horsecenter.org.